In Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, how does Katharina behave at the wedding in Act III, scene ii?

1 Answer | Add Yours

booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, Act Three, scene two, when all have gathered at the church, Petruchio is not to be found. She tells her father that her assumptions were correct: he is a worthless man who has asked for her hand in marriage and now will embarrass her by not showing up. She leaves the room in tears.

I told you, I, he was a frantic fool,

Hiding his bitter jests in blunt behavior:

And, to be noted for a merry man,

He'll woo a thousand, 'point the day of marriage,

Make feasts, invite friends, and proclaim the banns;

Yet never means to wed where he hath woo'd.

Now must the world point at poor Katherine,

And say, ‘Lo, there is mad Petruchio's wife,

If it would please him come and marry her!’ (12-20)

After Kate leaves, ultimately Petruchio arrives, wearing clothing that is old, stockings that do not match, and he refuses to change. He will marry on his terms, and so it seems he will live his life with his wife on his terms as well.

Petruchio goes into the church and marries Kate, ending the ceremony with a loud smack of a kiss that echoes through the building. When everyone prepares to depart for the wedding feast, Petruchio says that he must leave. Kate asks him to stay, saying he will do so if he loves her. He asks his wife not to get angry, but says nothing else. This is when Kate insists to her father that her husband will stay because she wants it.


I will be angry: what hast thou to do?

Father, be quiet; he shall stay my leisure.  (216-217)

Then she comments that a woman is made a fool by a man if she exhibits no spirit, believing she will have her own way. She is already making it clear that she does not intend to follow her husband's directions.

I see a woman may be made a fool,

If she had not a spirit to resist. (220-221)

However, Petruchio will not be controlled by his wife and states that she belongs now to him and it is time for them to go, and he will fight anyone who tries to stop him.

So as she always has done, Kate expects to get her own way, and to control her husband, making him do what she wants. She is in for a rude awakening, for Petruchio is not likely to do anything that he chooses not to do. He decides that it is time to go, and they leave at his insistence, not on her wish.

We’ve answered 317,341 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question